Here’s one way of dealing with Ex. 1

 My vice is professional wrestling.  My grandfather watched it when I was a boy, and so Saturday nights at 6 p.m. became “appointment viewing” for me.  Of course, when I watch today I recognize there’s a script involved, and these are showpeople as much as athletes. 

 

So: one job becomes How to present the subject in such a way that the reader, who might be assumed not to have much beyond a basic apprehension of said subject, will still feel invited to read the poem? That’s why I mention Barthes without quoting him; I want to leave it and go on.

 

Anyway—hope you’ll like the following example.  Let me know if you try this. 

 

                                                                           After Roland Barthes

                                                                       

 

                        Fans who chant at TV-wrestling matches

                        beg their audience with that camera they love

                        like no sweating, bloody figure from

                        some Roman circus gone quite, quite

                        mad on growth hormones and applause

                        from those who know or say they know all

                        this is scripted like dance.

 

                        From ringside, a few share

                        their small laugh because so many

                        simply don’t get the joke

                        as it pours from razor-cuts and fingernails

                        while men and women take the catwalk

                         writ huge.  In any case, it’s always

                       

                        the camera anyway, one red light

                        staring pitiless across whatever room

                        or skyline under God, their one

                        true recordist: I was here;

                        take down my name if not what I know

                        to be true about the world

                        past here, down in my home where

                        everything is sacred, even the profane

                        and miserable.  We’re everyplace,

                        you’ve known our names for decades.

                        Here’s our camera’s pass for you to remember.

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About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This entry was posted in Poetry/Fiction, Writing in General. Bookmark the permalink.

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